New York Giants kicker Graham Gano missed the entire 2019 season with a fractured femur — something he’s blaming completely on the Carolina Panthers medical staff.
Gano, who played for the Panthers from 2012-18, told The Athletic on Friday that he feels the Panthers put his career in jeopardy after misdiagnosing an injury he suffered at the end of the 2018 season. It was that injury, he said, that led to his fractured leg.
“I was told initially it was tendinitis and a bone bruise and it was actually a lot more than that, which we knew for a while,” Gano said, via The Athletic. “I was treating it and I came back and had the same injury — actually worse than before. It was a mess. It’s frustrating. But at the same time I try to look at things positively. If that wouldn’t have happened, I wouldn’t be here.”
Gano — who joined the Giants in 2020 and will take on the Panthers on Sunday — said he kicked with the broken left leg in one game during the 2018 season before he was placed on injured reserve to close out the season.
He believes he suffered the injury after repeatedly kicking in bad weather and that his plant leg kept “sinking into the ground.”
Throughout that entire offseason, he said the team told him it was just tendinitis.
“I went into training camp the next year, they were telling me it was fine,” Gano said, via The Athletic. “I reinjured it. They were telling me it was still fine. Obviously, it was not. So I had the surgery, and it went from them telling me there was nothing wrong with my leg to I need a major surgery. So that was a quick flip.”
Gano underwent that surgery in 2019, and missed the entire season. Had the injury been diagnosed immediately, he believes he could have returned in time to play.
The Panthers declined to comment to The Athletic. The team’s trainer and team doctor have since both resigned. The former trainer, Ryan Vermillion, was just placed on administrative leave by the Washington Football Team after DEA agents raided the team facility as part of a criminal investigation.
“They’re both no longer there, so I think that speaks volumes enough,” Gano said, via The Athletic.
Gano has made 12 of 14 field goal attempts and all six of his extra point attempts so far this season with the Giants. He’s currently in the second year of a three-year, $14 million deal.